From the Publisher
"A satisfying story of courage and adaptability."--School Library Journal
"Hawkes's illustrations are as moving and effective as the story. . . . This book is a happy adventure that brims with rugged excitement."--Kirkus Reviews
"A spirited and affecting tale."--San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
During a 1918 winter flu epidemic, a 10-year-old is dispatched from home to a logging camp where he will be safe. "Thanks to Lasky's considerable command of language and narrative detail, readers will linger over descriptions of Marven's solo journey," wrote PW, calling the illustrations "warm and glowing." Ages 6-9. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
In her picture book, the author tells a true story. Sent to the Great North Woods of Minnesota to protect him from the 1918-19 influenza epidemic, young Marven Lasky was given the job of bookkeeping for a logging camp. The woods were an alien world to this homesick Jewish city child-loggers, huge trees, bears, no kosher food-but with the help of the burly Jean Louis, he began to feel less alone. Kevin Hawkes' beautiful illustrations bring the atmosphere of the frozen North Woods to life. Highly recommended.
With a daughter's fitting reverence, Lasky tells the story of her father, Marven, who was sent away from his family at the age of ten to work in a logging camp.
Duluth, Minnesota, is plagued with influenza in the winter of 1918, so Marven's parents send off their only son to the great north woods for the winter. As the train pulls away, Marven is in the middle of nowhere; he must ski five miles to meet his new employer. The young boy is given the job of bookkeeping and the daunting task of waking the lumberjacks who linger in bed in the morning. Marven grows close to Jean-Louis, the giant sleepyhead of the bunch. Hawkes's illustrations are as moving and effective as the story, especially when Marven appears in the snowy loneliness of the north country. Hawkes characterizes the burly lumberjacks with humor and style, cleverly contrasting them with Marven's childlike innocence. Unlike Gary Paulsen's bittersweet northland novella, The Cookcamp (1991), over which hangs a vague sense of unease, this book is a happy adventure that brims with rugged excitement.